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Take care of your people and protect your business

In HR, there are many places HR professionals can go to find answers, receive support or provide support for others. However, where to go and which information to trust can be a hard decision. In this article, we’ll discuss what HR communities are, the role they can play for HR professionals and HR communities that exist.

What Are HR Communities?

HR communities are groups of HR professionals who provide opportunities to network, learn and support other HR professionals.

Why Are HR Communities Helpful for HR Personnel?

HR is not as black and white as some people think. How one company handles an HR issue might be completely different than how another company handles the same situation. HR communities are a great opportunity for HR personnel to provide support to each other, network and continue education

  • Provide support. Being part of a community can help HR personnel when they feel like they are alone. It can help to bounce ideas off other professionals or sympathize with them when they are going through an issue you have dealt with before. HR issues at work can be exhausting, but having a community that provides support helps HR personnel to continue fighting.
  • Network. When you become part of an HR community, you get the chance to associate with other HR personnel. This creates opportunities to talk with other HR professionals you might not normally communicate with. Communities help make connections that could lead to future job opportunities or allow you to meet people that become friends for the rest of your life.
  • Continued education. One of the greatest benefits of an HR community is the opportunities given to continue to learn. In HR, there are many different topics and subjects that come up. Through discussions, webinars and conferences, HR communities provide HR personnel opportunities to expand their HR knowledge on topics they might not typically get exposure to.

Types of HR Communities

HR communities can be a broad term, so it is important to understand the different types of HR communities.

Online Community Chats

This type of community has become more prevalent over the last couple years, especially since the 2020 Covid pandemic. Some HR professionals use this kind of community to ask questions on how to handle a situation or how to implement a new tool or resource. These kinds of communities can be found on chat platforms such as Slack.

University Clubs/Organizations

This type of HR community is typically for college students who want to network with others while also finding exposure to the HR world. These clubs/organizations are sometimes smaller than a larger HR community, such as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), on a university level.

Executive Level HR Groups

This is not very common, but executive level HR professionals can  create a group geared towards higher level executive decisions that other HR professionals might not face. These topics could include more in-depth information on ethics, HR strategy or communication across all HR aspects.

Tips for Getting the Most Out of an HR Community

Joining an HR community is a great opportunity for an HR professional to progress in their career while also becoming more skilled at their job. However, just joining an HR community is not enough for it to be impactful. Here are a few tips to consider if you want to get the most out of the community.

Tip 1: Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions

HR professionals don’t know everything. In fact, most of them are learning something new every day. With so many HR issues without clear answers, it is important to ask for help from other professionals. In an HR community, don’t be afraid to ask questions. People want to help, but no one can help if people aren’t willing to ask questions.

Tip 2: Be Involved

Being part of an HR community isn’t just a badge or something to put on your resume. To get the most out of an HR community, you need to participate in as many conferences, webcasts, meet-ups or Q&As as possible. This gives you the opportunity to network with more people, further your HR knowledge and receive or provide support you wouldn’t normally get.

Tip  3: Take Advantage of the Knowledge Base

When joining an HR community, you generally have access to some kind of HR knowledge base. This can come in the form of articles, presentations, webinars or conferences. Not using those resources means you are missing valuable HR knowledge you might need. Search the HR community knowledge base and you might be surprised what answers they provide.

Popular HR Communities

There are all kinds of HR communities. It is important to find one that is the right fit for you. All of them have something to offer. Here are a few of the more popular HR communities.

HR Mavericks

HR Mavericks is a community of HR professionals attempting to democratize HR. They recognize that there are many HR tools that you have to pay money for to get the help you need. To make HR help more accessible to everyone, HR Mavericks is committed to remaining a free community that provides members (and nonmembers) with opportunities to learn through articles, podcasts and Q&As. In addition, it gives its members opportunities to share their expertise, network with others through forums and Slack channels, and support each other. This gives everyone a chance to be a part of a community trying to make it easier for HR professionals to navigate the ever-changing HR world.

SHRM

SHRM is the largest HR association in the world. It has over 300,000 members worldwide. SHRM provides continued education to members through a variety of ways, such as through conferences, webcasts or articles. It also provides certification to members who prove they have the adequate HR knowledge to become certified professionals. Those certifications include SHRM-CP (for people early in their HR career) and SHRM-SCP (for senior-level HR professionals). SHRM is a paid community and has local chapters in most areas of the U.S.

Human Resources Certification Institute

HRCI is an organization that focuses on certifying HR professionals. It offers more certification options than any other HR community. These certifications include:

  • APHR (Associate Professional in Human Resources)
  • PHR (Professional in Human Resources)
  • SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources)
  • APHRI (Associate Professional in Human Resources – International) PHRI (Professional in Human Resource – International)
  • SPHRI (Senior Professional in Human Resources – International)
  • PHRCA (Professional in Human Resources – California)
  • GPHR (Global Professional in Human Resources)

These certifications allow HR professionals to find what best fits their experience and what they want to accomplish. HRCI also offers continued education like other HR Communities, as continued education is needed to recertify your HR certification every three years.

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Questions You’ve Asked Us About HR Communities

It depends on the HR communities that you join. Some can be free, while others that have a cost might offer more perks with the membership. 

They can be both. Online HR communities have become more and more common, but there is still value from being in person. Many HR communities have meetings both in person and online. 

Tanner has over 4 years of HR professional experience in various fields of HR. He has experience in hiring, recruiting, employment law, unemployment, onboarding, outboarding, and training to name a few. Most of his experience comes from working in the Professional Employer and Staffing Industries. He has a passion for putting people in the best position to succeed and really tries to understand the different backgrounds people come from.

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